published in 2001 in University of Washington, Master of Technical Communication (thesis)
In this paper I propose and explore a computer-mediated communication (CMC) interpersonal interaction paradigm for the home, based on instant messaging (IM), that allows individuals to feel a connection with others while remaining centered and with their psyche intact. I consider the motivating factors of media use as well as the intersection of artifacts and technologies currently used to connect interpersonally with others. The interaction paradigm proposed, IM ambient media, “piggy backs” on IM interaction for three reasons 2 : (1) IM user populations are growing fast, (2) IM use seems to be motivated by some of the same interpersonal communication motives as mass media and CMC surveillance and social affiliation, and (3) IM interaction is asynchronous and lightweight and thus lends itself to ambient media. These three characteristics of IM, as well as characteristics of ambient media are discussed, in depth.